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Cloning and heterologous expression of Heterotermes tenuis termite enzymes for use in biofuel production

Grant number: 19/23964-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal Investigator:Anderson Ferreira da Cunha
Grantee:Iara Ciancaglini
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Laccases are oxidoreductases capable of oxidizing phenolic and non-phenolic compounds, including lignin, which are found and used in biomass degradation. These enzymes are present in different organisms and act on the biopolymerization of lignin in plants and the melanization of insect cuticles. Its activity in lignin structure is related to its application in biofuels production because if produced and isolated, it can be used in the pretreatment of biomass in industrial production of second-generation ethanol. Its application can also be observed in the food industries, the textile industry, among others. Glucoamylase are exoamylases capable of cleaving the glycosidic bonds of starch, having saccharifying activity on the starch, hydrolyzing it to glucose. In this sense, they are widely used in the food industry and fermentation processes. Studies conducted by our group analyzing the transcriptome of Brazilian termite species have received attention due to the possibilities of detecting potential enzymes with biotechnological applications. Termites are eusocial insects with high biomass degradation capacity, performing this task in hours, unlike fungi that can take weeks. Thus, these insects become potential targets in enzymatic bioprospecting. The species chosen for this study was Heterotermes tenuis because it is a sugarcane pest species, which is the raw material for the production of first and second-generation ethanol. In a previous analysis, sequences identified as possible laccase and glucoamylase were detected. In this context, the main objective of this project is to amplify the coding region, to clone and express such enzymes in heterologous systems, in order to evaluate their activities for a possible application in biofuels production.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ALCOBACA, OLINDA S. A.; CAMPANINI, EMELINE B.; CIANCAGLINI, IARA; ROCHA, SAMARA, V; MALAVAZI, IRAN; FREIRE, CAIO C. M.; NUNES, FRANCIS M. F.; FUENTES, ANDREA S. C.; CUNHA, ANDERSON F.. Identification of a New Endo-beta-1,4-xylanase Prospected from the Microbiota of the Termite Heterotermes tenuis. MICROORGANISMS, v. 10, n. 5, p. 14-pg., . (18/20823-5, 17/19694-3, 16/13423-5, 17/12905-9, 16/10130-7, 19/07505-7, 19/23964-1, 18/20697-0)

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